Melanocytes and skin colors

Hi, this is Dr. Charles Crutchfield clinical professor of dermatology and medical director at Crutchfield Dermatology.

The funny thing about skin no matter what color you are, snow white or dark chocolate brown, everybody has the same number of Melanocytes. Also the color of your skin will vary based on location. The color of the skin on your arms may be different than the color on your stomach, back, legs, face, and that’s completely normal.

The variation in skin color we see across all people is determined by the type and amount of melanin produced by the melanocytes in the skin.

A recent theory indicates that the difference in skin color is really a reflection of the skin’s ability to protect itself against the sun In fact people who live closer to the equator have darker skin and people who live farther away from the equator have lighter skin.

That’s really the difference in skin color.